A transition is underway at Iowa Wesleyan College as the school moves to the NCAA Division three ranks. A long time member of the NAIA the Mount Pleasant school decided last October to apply for NCAA membership.

Iowa Wesleyan athletic director Mike Hampton says the school put together a task force one year ago and went through a lot of material to make a decision on what’s best for the future of the school and then voted to move ahead with NCAA Division III status. He says the school will begin an exploratory year in division three when the new school year begins.

“It’s a process that could take up to 4 or 5 years…we’re implementing things this fall that will hopefully speed that 4 or 5 years up to possibly within 3 years of becoming a full member of division three,” Hampton says.

NCAA division three does not offer athletic scholarships while NAIA does. Hampton says Iowa Wesleyan will honor the scholarships for the student-athletes on campus until they graduate or leave school. The change also means a new conference for the athletic programs.

Tiger football will begin competing in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference in 2013. All of the other sports compete in the Midwest Collegiate Conference but Hampton says that will be changing in another year as well as the move to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in all sports other than football in 2013.